English settlement

The man sitting next to me on the tube one morning last week was wearing a leaf green jacket made of that same faux silk material used for shell suits.  But the reason I noticed it as I followed him onto the carriage was not so much the general nastiness of the garment but that it had a white horse emblem on its back, and not just any old white horse but the White Horse of Uffington.  Squinting sideways I was able to make out the logo on the front of the jacket, so that there could be no doubt – it was an English settlement-era piece of XTC merchandise, and it had somehow managed to survive the intervening 26 years.  Despite its distinct lack of sartorial elegance, it would probably fetch a packet on eBay.  I wanted to ask its wearer, who looked very much like he was the original owner, how he came by it – was he road crew on that ill-fated tour when Andy Partridge’s stage fright finally got the better of him, or was he simply a fan? – but he had headphones on.  Probably listening to ‘Snowman’.  ‘It isn’t even winter but I’m freezing, freezing…’

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